Falcon 9: AMOS-6 commsat (mission thread)


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Unobscured Vision

Owchies. Payload was mated to the vehicle? ... auuugh. :no: Reading and seeing this elsewhere.

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anthdci
5 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Owchies. Payload was mated to the vehicle? ... auuugh. :no: Reading and seeing this elsewhere.

ouch, you'd think it would make sense to test fire prior to fitting the payload incase exactly this happens...

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+John.

not again :(

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Unobscured Vision
Just now, anthdci said:

ouch, you'd think it would make sense to test fire prior to fitting the payload incase exactly this happens...

Yeah, I'm not sure why this time was different either. Maybe it was the weight of the bird and it was just easier to do it this way ahead of time. Gonna be some procedure changes coming out of this mishap once the dust settles, for sure. Crying shame. :no: 

 

I'm thinking a bit more about this failure and what caused it. I'll need @DocM, though, when he's home from work and online. He'll likely be pretty busy when he's getting into his "Internet Time", though. (Neowin isn't his only haunt. ;))

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PGHammer
11 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

Tropical storm could be a factor in SpaceX launch Saturday

 

 

 

152604W5_NL_sm.gif

As of Wednesday afternoon, forecasters predict Tropical Storm Hermine will make landfall late Thursday in the Florida Panhandle. Credit: NOAA/NHC

 

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/31/tropical-storm-could-be-a-factor-in-spacex-launch-saturday/

 

:(

"Hermine" - I hope that's a correct spelling; I shudder to think of witches with weather-control power watching ANY space launches with Ill Intentions. (/s)

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+John.

Looks like payload was on the rocket.

 

Spacex statement says it was a pad anomoly, and nothing to do with the rocket or the payload, so maybe it's not as bad as it first looks?

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Unobscured Vision

Okay, here's a timeline of SpaceX Procedures during a Launch (and presumably a Static Fire) from NSF Member MostlyHarmless.

 

Quote

T-0:05:55   Pressurization for Strongback Retract
T-0:05:30   Strongback Cradles Opening
T-0:05:00   Second Stage Nitrogen Loading Termination
T-0:04:46   Stage 1 & Stage 2 Auto Sequence starts
T-0:04:30   Stage 2 Thrust Vector Control Test
T-0:04:25   Strongback Retraction
T-0:04:10   Vehicle Release Auto Sequence
T-0:03:45   Verify Good Mvac TVC
T-0:03:40   TEA-TEB Ignition System Activation
T-0:03:30   Strongback Retraction complete
T-0:03:25   Flight Termination System to Internal Power
T-0:03:05   Flight Termination System Armed
T-0:03:00   LOX Topping Termination
T-0:03:00   Strongback Securing complete
T-0:02:45   Fuel Trim Valve to Flight Position
T-0:02:40   FTS Countdown Sequence
T-0:02:30   Launch Director: Go for Launch
T-0:02:20   Propellant Tank Pre-Press
T-0:02:00   Range Verification
T-0:02:00   Flight Control to Self Alignment
T-0:01:35   Helium Loading Termination
T-0:01:30   Final Engine Chilldown, Pre-Valves/Bleeders Open
T-0:01:20   Engine Purge
T-0:01:00   Flight Computer to start-up
T-0:01:00   Pad Deck Water Deluge System Activation
T-0:00:55   Second Stage to Flight Pressure
T-0:00:50   First Stage Thrust Vector Actuator Test
T-0:00:40   First Stage to Flight Pressure
T-0:00:20   All Tanks at Flight Pressure
T-0:00:15   Arm Pyrotechnics
T-0:00:10   Latest VC Abort
T-0:00:03   Merlin Engine Ignition
T-0:00:00   LIFTOFF

My understanding is that the explosion occurred right around the T-3 minute mark. That would be right around the time the LOX Tank inside the Falcon-9 would be at maximum pressure ... so ... yep. If the cause wasn't the Pad itself then it's the LOX Tank.

 

And a "Pad Anomaly" could mean anything ... literally. Including a problem with the Falcon-9 itself. Hopefully it's not an issue with the vehicle. It's still a loss, and it still sets back timetables. AND, SpaceX won't be able to launch anything from anywhere until Vandy is on-line again. This is best-case scenario.

6 minutes ago, PGHammer said:

"Hermine" - I hope that's a correct spelling; I shudder to think of witches with weather-control power watching ANY space launches with Ill Intentions. (/s)

There's not going to be a launch. Read the past two Forum pages, beginning about halfway down page 1. :no: 

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bguy_1986
38 minutes ago, anthdci said:

ouch, you'd think it would make sense to test fire prior to fitting the payload incase exactly this happens...

It would have been tested at McGregor correct?  That would have been pre-payload fitting.

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+John.
37 minutes ago, bguy_1986 said:

It would have been tested at McGregor correct?  That would have been pre-payload fitting.

Yep, It was tested and passed.

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Jim K

This is a bummer. :(

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DocM


@elonmusk
Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon.

 

It was humid today, do it could be an ice dam in the O2 vent.

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DocM

The vets at USLaunchReport were on the ball again. Freeze frame and edge detection attached.

 

 

 

post-10859-0-01111300-1472751918.jpg

 

post-10859-0-08639100-1472751939.jpg

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Jim K

Now...that is some RUD.  Sucks that the satellite was attached :(... and probably many months before SpaceX takes off while they investigate/fix the issue...repair the pad...etc.

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anthdci
24 minutes ago, jjkusaf said:

Now...that is some RUD.  Sucks that the satellite was attached :(... and probably many months before SpaceX takes off while they investigate/fix the issue...repair the pad...etc.

definitely going to be big delays now while they investigate what went wrong and make changes to prevent it happening again. Falcon Heavy wont be seen until 2017 now for sure.

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Beittil

Man, that T/E is deffo wrecked! People at first thought it survived reasonably well, but merde... the top of it was close to being completely torn by the payload and its fairing. Quite brutal how you can see it hanging on there while the rocket explodes only to fall down after a few seconds and create a secondary fireball.

 

Also, again the second stage! This was also where last years RUD originated!

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DocM

 

Can't delete the video from my post 

 

It's quite possible the cause was external to the launcher, such as shorted & leaking umbilicals. Well know soon enough. 

 

As to other delays like FH, pure speculation. Some issues may be quickly fixed, and 39A is coming online and could sub for 40 during repairs. Vandy is also open for business and a good part of the years schedule is there.

Edited by DocM
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Jim K
Quote

Israel's Space Communication Ltd said on Sunday it could seek $50 million or a free flight from Elon Musk's SpaceX after a Spacecom communications satellite was destroyed last week by an explosion at SpaceX's Florida launch site.

 

Officials of the Israeli company said in a conference call with reporters Sunday that Spacecom also could collect $205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the AMOS-6 satellite.

 

SpaceX said in an email to Reuters that it does not disclose contract or insurance terms. The company is not public, and it has not said what insurance it had for the rocket or to cover launch pad damages beyond what was required by the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial U.S. launches, for liability and damage to government property.

 

SpaceX has more than 70 missions on its manifest, worth more than $10 billion, for commercial and government customers.

 

/snip

 

Spacecom has been hit hard in the aftermath of the Thursday explosion that destroyed the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its payload. The Israeli company said the loss of the satellite would have a significant impact, with its equity expected to decline by $30 million to $123 million.

 

Spacecom shares dropped 9 percent on Thursday, with the explosion occurring late in the last trading day of the week. Trading in the shares was suspended on Sunday morning, and the stock plummeted another 34 percent when trading resumed.

 

/snip

Full article at Reuters

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DocM

AIUI a re-flight is in their launch contract, so this is a bit of a non-story.

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DocM

em-power is a former SpaceXer with ties inside the company.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/50rr9v/falcon_9_amos6_static_fire_anomaly_faq_summary/d7ci0b9

 

Quote

em-power ex-SpaceX 22 points 14 hours ago 


take this with a grain of salt, but i just spoke to one of the current spacex employees and according to him, the 'explosion' did originate from outside the rocket. they dont know yet exactly what caused it.

 


Edit: just heard this again from a second source.

Edited by DocM
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Emn1ty
1 hour ago, DocM said:

em-power is a former SpaceXer with ties inside the company.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/50rr9v/falcon_9_amos6_static_fire_anomaly_faq_summary/d7ci0b9

 


Edit: just heard this again from a second source.

Another analysis by Scott Manley puts the explosion origin dead center on the second stage fueling port. Also an interesting overlay of the Dragon escape scenario with it.
 

 

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DocM

@elonmusk
Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.
>
Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source.
>
@elonmusk
Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.
>
Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source.
>
Support & advice from @NASA, @FAA, @AFPAA & others much appreciated. Please email any recordings of the event to report@spacex.com.
>
Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off. May come from rocket or something else.

Edited by DocM
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DocM

A quieter bang sound could go with something in the GSE which propagated. Not likely to be a COPV because there's previously been a camera in the S2 O2 tank and they'd have seen that kind of failure by now. Also, the tank would have been ~half full = lots of head space to absorb a leak, tripping pressure sensors long before a failure.

 

9420707_orig.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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